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Last Updated: Saturday June 04 2005 09:44 GMT

'Stolen' Potter book pair charged

New Potter cover
Two men have been charged with weapons offences after they were thought to be trying to sell a stolen copy of the new Potter book to a newspaper journalist.

The men were arrested on Friday after the police were called to an address in Kettering, Northants, following reports that shots had been fired.

The police said a person "in possession of firearms" had tried to sell a copy of the sixth Potter book, due out soon.

The Sun newspaper said it had planned to get the book back and tell police.

Northamptonshire Police said a 37-year-old man from Kettering has been charged with having an offensive weapon and with handling stolen property.

And a 19-year-old man has been charged with theft and having an imitation firearm intending to cause fear of violence.

Both men have been released on bail and are due to appear before magistrates next week.

Book deal

The house was surrounded by police
The house was surrounded by police
A spokesperson for The Sun newspaper says it was approached by someone claiming to have a copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

He said: "A reporter and photographer met with two men with the intention of obtaining the book so it could be returned to the publisher and the police could be informed."

But the paper says the men got angry when the reporter refused to pay 50,000 for the book.

Half-Blood Prince - the sixth novel in the popular Potter series - is one of the hottest book releases of the year.

Publishers Bloomsbury have confirmed that two books were recovered but could not comment further on the matter.

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